The Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Section is part of the Disease Control and Prevention Services Division of the Texas Department of State Health Services. The Section serves Texans by creating, promoting and guiding public health programs across the lifespan to promote healthy lifestyles and educate, prevent and manage chronic diseases.
Vision: All Texans live, work, play and learn in communities that
support health and an optimal quality of life at every age.
Mission: To serve all Texans by improving and supporting systems,
policies and environments that promote health and improve quality of life.
Goal: To coordinate efforts between communities, coalitions, and
stakeholders to support and sustain an environment that
makes possible a whole and healthy Texan.
There are five branches of the Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Section:
- Chronic Disease Branch: This branch supports multiple diseases encompassing many of the most common, costly and preventable health problems in Texas: Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and kidney disease. As a group these chronic diseases are the cause of major limitations in daily life, and represent significant time, money and resource burdens on individuals, communities and the state.
- Diabetes Prevention & Control Branch: This branch targets diabetes as a common risk factor/outcome for other chronic diseases such as obesity and cardiovascular disease. The branch develops a state plan for diabetes prevention and control alongside the Texas Diabetes Council, and supports diabetes public information campaigns and prevention programs at the community level.
- Primary Prevention Branch (including Community and Worksite Wellness Program): This branch includes a variety of programs that work with communities and organizations to encourage healthy living activities aimed at preventing chronic disease and health complications, including the CDC-funded Community Transformation Grant (CTG) that targets rural, border and frontier communities, and the Community and Worksite Wellness Program that promotes nutrition, physical activity and obesity prevention amongst all Texans.
- Tobacco Prevention & Control: This branch works to reduce the health effects and economic toll of tobacco on the citizens of Texas. Major goals are prevention of tobacco use among young people, reducing or quitting existing tobacco usage in all populations, eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke and promoting compliance and support of existing tobacco laws in Texas.
- All branches of the section are supported by the Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology and Research (OSER). Subject matter experts in this branch serve as the collectors, evaluators and interpreters of data that informs and enhances health promotion and chronic disease prevention in Texas.
In addition to these major branches, key programmatic areas include:
- The Texas School Health Program functions as a central resource for educators, schools and their respective communities across Texas working to increase access to health education and services for Texas school-age children;
- The Abstinence Education Program uses a holistic approach to encourage the implementation of evidence-based interventions to delay initiation of sexual activity. This is part of a continuum of services to decrease the teen pregnancy rate and rate of sexually transmitted infections in youth ages 15-19.
- The Safe Riders Community Outreach Program educates Texans about the benefits and proper use of child safety seats and related local laws. The program offers child passenger safety technician training courses, child safety seat checkups and inspection stations, traffic safety presentations, community awareness workshops, pre-teen traffic safety interventions, and free traffic safety educational materials.
Many programs are advised by internal and external councils such as the Texas School Health Advisory Committee, the Texas Diabetes Council, the Texas Council on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders and the Cancer Alliance of Texas to provide information for health care providers, nonprofit entities, hospitals, school sites and individuals. In all, more than 300 internal and external stakeholders rely on the Section for information and guidance regarding the continuum of health for all Texans.